A recently released report from the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis (NCHWA) projects that demand for physical therapists will grow 23% between 2012 and 2025. Favorable demographic trends, with the U.S. population growing larger and the senior population growing even faster, improved insurance coverage thanks to the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, and more focus on chronic illness management all point to growing demand for physical therapy services.
Notwithstanding the trends that point to strong growth in demand for physical therapists, the NCHWA report does not foresee a tight national labor market for physical therapists. According to the NCHWA assessment, anticipated growth in new entrants to the physical therapy field should allow the workforce to grow at a faster rate than demand, even after taking into account retirement and attrition in the physical therapist labor force. Consequently, the NCHWA report is forecasting that the U.S. should have more than enough supply to cover growing demand for physical therapy services over the next decade.
For more information about physical therapists, visit this Physical Therapist resource. To review the workforce report in its entirety, go to NCHWA Health Workforce Projection.